When both of Sydney’s daily papers float the idea of a leadership challenge against the Premier being imminent we can safely assume that someone whose opinion the journalists at least have some respect for is up to no good. The problem with this morning’s suggestion that John Della Bosca was seeking Nathan Rees’ job was that the Della is not even a member of the lower house and denies he is trying to get one. Most likely, then, the inspiration for the stories in the Sydney Morning Herald and theDaily Telegraph was nothing more than pure mischief making by someone. So it was that Health Minister Della Bosca, with Premier Rees by his side, dutifully declared that there was no challenge, that he was not seeking to move down from the Legislative Council and that he had not sought advice as to whether he could be Premier without making such a change in location.
Not that the leadership speculation is likely to go away. Journos just love leadership challenge stories too much to allow this latest denial to be anything more than a temporary delay. We can look forward to more of the same in the weeks and months ahead, with or without John Della Bosca in the role of challenger.
The bookmaker Centrebet has had quite a large field of runners in the contest for who would be the Labor Leader when the election is finally held but took the market down this morning amidst all the confusion. The poor bookie obviously thought the newspapers actually knew something he didn’t! I’m sure it will be back up soon enough and probably not much different to what it was yesterday when this Crikey NSW Leadership Election Indicator was calculated.
As for the election result itself, the Liberal-National Coalition remains a firm favourite with a probability of 70% to9 Labor’s 30%.